Jozsef Kovacs Hungary
Debrecen, Hungary… October 1942 – Lieutenant Jozsef Kovacs commanded a slave labor company of 150 Jewish men. He treated these Jewish slave laborers humanely and decently. He did not abuse them and disobeyed orders from his commandant by smuggling in care packages that were sent to the men from their families.
In the fall of 1942, the entire battalion was ordered to the Russian front. The reassignment meant certain death. Lieutenant Kovacs persuaded his superiors that the “seasoned soldiers” in his company were needed to provide basic training to new recruits. By switching their assignment, Lieutenant Kovacs saved the lives of these 150 Jewish men. They were not sent to the Russian front, where many men in their battalion died within a few months.
Lieutenant Kovacs was punished for being a “Jew-lover” and sent to the Russian front. He sustained wounds and survived the war. Lieutenant Kovacs passed away in August 1995.